Home List of Titles Hubble space telescope imaging of the CFRS and LDSS redshift surveys IV: influence of mergers in the evolution of faint field galaxies from z similar to 1
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- Hubble space telescope imaging of the CFRS and LDSS redshift surveys IV: influence of mergers in the evolution of faint field galaxies from z similar to 1
- Le Fevre, Olivier; Abraham, Roberto G.; Lilly, Simon J.; Ellis, Richard S.; Brinchmann, Jarle; Schade, David J.; Tresse, Laurence; Colless, Matthew; Crampton, David; Glazebrook, Karl; Hammer, Francois; Broadhurst, Thomas J.
- Hubble Space Telescope images of a sample of 285 galaxies with measured redshifts from the Canada-France Redshift Survey (CFRS) and Autofib-Low Dispersion Spectrograph Survey (LDSS) redshift surveys are analysed to derive the evolution of the merger fraction out to redshifts z ∼ 1. We have performed visual and machine-based merger identifications, as well as counts of bright pairs of galaxies with magnitude differences δm ≤ 1.5 mag. We find that the pair fraction increases with redshift, with up to ∼ 20 per cent of the galaxies being in physical pairs at z ∼ 0.75-1. We derive a merger fraction varying with redshift as ∝ (1 + z)3.2±0.6, after correction for line-of-sight contamination, in excellent agreement with the merger fraction derived from the visual classification of mergers for which m = 3.4 ± 0.6. After correcting for seeing effects on the ground-based selection of survey galaxies, we conclude that the pair fraction evolves as ∝ (1 + z)2.7±0.6. This implies that an average L* galaxy will have undergone 0.8-1.8 merger events from z = 1 to z = 0, with 0.5 to 1.2 merger events occuring in a 2-Gyr time-span at around z ∼ 0.9. This result is consistent with predictions from semi-analytical models of galaxy formation. From the simple coaddition of the observed luminosities of the galaxies in pairs, physical mergers are computed to lead to a brightening of 0.5 mag for each pair on average, and a boost in star formation rate of a factor of 2, as derived from the average [O II] equivalent widths. Mergers of galaxies are therefore contributing significantly to the evolution of both the luminosity function and luminosity density of the Universe out to z ∼ 1.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 311, no. 3 (Jan 2000), pp. 565-575
- Publication year
- Cosmology; Evolution; Galaxies; Interactions; Observations; Pairs; Selection
- Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2000 Royal Astronomical Society. The accepted manuscript of this paper is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive publication is available at www.interscience.wiley.com.
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- Peer reviewed